'Vacation Breasts' May Be Next Big Thing in Plastic Surgery

PHOTO: A bikini top hangs on a clothesline.Getty Images
A bikini top hangs on a clothesline.

Think of it as test driving plastic surgery: You wouldn't buy a car without driving it, seeing how it feels when you sit in the seat. So why should breasts be any different?

The New York plastic surgeon who developed the "insta breast," a saline injection into the breast that gives the impression of implants for 24 hours, is now working on a method that would last two to three weeks.

"Twenty-four hours is great," said Dr. Norman Rowe, a board certified plastic surgeon who practices in Manhattan, "but it's still just 24 hours."

Two of his insta breast patients have come back for the 24-hour augmentation twice, he said, still unable to decide if surgery is right for them.

Rowe said the two-to-three-week breast "implants" are perfect for a special occasion -- such as a wedding or vacation -- but also give women a better opportunity to see what living with larger breasts is really like.

"You can use 3-D imaging and put implants in bras," he said, "but it's another thing to see what the weight will actually feel like and what it will be like to live with the new breasts."

While Rowe won't disclose the chemical makeup of the solution that will allow the saline-plus-additive to not only last but to stay in the right place, he said it's something that's already widely used in the medical community for other purposes.

"With any procedure, it's important to weigh the benefits versus the risks versus the alternatives," said Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' senior medical contributor. "With this procedure, there is the risk of hitting a blood vessel with the injection (forming a hematoma) as well as a risk of infection, and the long-term risks, while they appear low, are unknown at this time. There are also cost issues."

The cost, Rowe said, will depend largely on how popular the procedure becomes. The more in demand it turns out to be, the lower the price. But he anticipated it will cost less than the insta breast procedure, which cost $2,500.

Rowe said he is in talks with the FDA on new technology, and anticipated the "vacation breasts" will be available in about two years. As with the insta breast, he anticipates there will be no recovery downtime.

"It [the solution] could be used for more than breasts," Rowe said. "Men might want to use it for pec[toral] or calf implants."